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The Psychology Major Internship

The psychology major prepares students for graduate study in psychology or related fields as well as entry level positions in a variety of settings (e.g., state hospitals, personnel departments, treatment facilities, businesses, and research departments). The major includes courses which provide a theoretical framework for examining human behavior, an in-depth introduction to statistics and research methodology, and advanced laboratory courses. An internship is not required in the psychology major but may be desired by some students for at least two reasons. First, it may be of benefit in preparing for and/or selecting a field in which to pursue graduate study. Second, it may be of benefit in helping to select a human service area in which to work. A maximum of seven internship credits may be counted toward the requirements for a Psychology major.

The goals and objectives of an internship should be an extension of the student's needs and competencies. Thus, a psychology major's strong background in statistics and research skills would allow the student to set fairly extensive goals within a research setting. Similarly, a student who has completed Psychology 4328 - Behavioral and Cognitive Modification - would be able to set fairly comprehensive goals within a setting which employs a behavioral approach to behavior change. A student who has not completed the skills sequence required in the Applied Psychology major would set relatively more modest goals within a more clinical setting. The important point is that the student's goals for a particular internship need to be determined based on a discussion of the internship setting and the student's competencies and general internship goals (e.g., research experience in an applied setting or exposure to professional practice in a clinical setting).

There are many different possible internship sites for Psychology majors. Interested students should discuss internship ideas with their advisor at as early a time as possible. Remember: Psychology 4870 - Psychology Pre-Internship Seminar - must be completed before the internship can begin. Previous internships include BSU Residential Life, Minnesota Department of Transportation, BSU Career Services, the Coalition for Battered Women, and many other programs and agencies, statewide.